What is lemon balm used for?
Lemon balm is a perennial herb and member of the mint family that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. The lemon balm plant is native to Europe but also thrives in North America and other northern climates and has been cultivated across the world since the 16th century. Favoured for it’s wonderful lemony scent and unique flavour, lemon balm has a bright, citrusy taste with the subtle taste of mint and is thought to have some notably beneficial effects on the body and mind. It’s believed to help soothe digestive problems and calm the mood among other uses.
Traditionally, lemon balm is drunk as a tea or tincture, inhaled as part of aromatherapy, or eaten in a variety of different ways. It’s a versatile herb and each method of use offers different benefits. As lemon balm is an ingredient in our dreamy Nightcap elixir, we’ll be going through some of these benefits that you can experience from drinking it.
Lemon balm is calming
When enjoyed as a tea or in a beverage, lemon balm is thought to have a great calming, de-stressing, and soothing effect on the mood. Because of this, it is added to our Nightcap elixir to help promote a good night’s sleep thanks to its calming and mellowing properties.
In a small study which looked at the effects eating lemon balm had on stress levels, many participants experienced lower feelings of stress and anxiety. After consuming foods that contained lemon balm, the participants took part in activities that usually induce high stress levels such as public speaking; the results showed that lower levels of stress and anxiety were reported across the board.
Lemon balm might be a good antioxidant
Antioxidants are growing in popularity in the health and beauty community, and lemon balm is considered to be an excellent source of these super compounds. In a review that covered various different studies into the topic, it’s thought that lemon balm contained sufficiently high levels of phenolic compounds and antioxidants to potentially help combat oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is often touted to be a contributor to conditions such as diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular disease and antioxidants are thought to help remove the free radicals that can exacerbate these issues. Phenolic compounds are the most important compounds that have antioxidant activities and antioxidants can be found in plants naturally as it helps to protect them against oxidative stress.
Antioxidants are thought to be most effective when layered with other antioxidant compounds and vitamins. You can find plenty of other excellent ingredients in Nightcap such as turmeric to boost the antioxidant effects of the lemon balm as well as provide some other wonderful benefits.
Lemon balm helps with digestive issues
According to a review which looked into multiple studies of the herb, lemon balm is considered to be a great help for gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, indigestion, and nausea among others. Just like its cousin, mint, if you’re prone to stomach upsets or digestive issues, you may find that lemon balm helps to soothe and ease any discomfort you may experience.
Lemon balm has anti-viral properties
Lemon balm is thought to be an excellent anti-viral, helping to keep cold sores at bay and banishing the common cold, among other things. There is some evidence to support this theory and according to one review, researchers looked at the antimicrobial properties and how they relate to conditions such as herpes simplex virus (the virus responsible for cold sores).
It’s theorised that lemon balm can help to inhibit the growth of various viral infections including influenza and cold sores as well as being effective against some bacterial infections too.
How do you use lemon balm for sleep?
To help prepare your mind and body for a good night’s sleep, try some of our expertly blended Nightcap elixir. This dreamy slow-sipper combines naturally mellowing lemon balm with a whole host of other soothing active ingredients to promote the utmost relaxation and calm frazzled minds. It’s the perfect way to end the day.
Three Spirit drinks are packed with feel-good ingredients and we love concocting marvellous mood-making recipes. Nightcap is our calming drink, the definition of soothing, with vegan ingredients that help you slip into a deep sleep. It’s carefully crafted to soothe your mind and body, while still tantalising your taste buds.Walk this way to find out more about our Nightcap elixir. Or if you're ready to take it for a spin, why not try it in a Nightcap Julep. Perhaps you want to further explore the alchemy of Three Spirit drinks? Browse through our other products and see what we have to offer!